What has up to now only been a dream is finally beginning to come to reality. The long time 137-acre eyesore in the center of the International Management District, bounded by Kirkwood, Bissonnet and Cook Road, that began in the early 70s as the Doty Sand Pit followed by a land fill for construction waste and then the Sugar Hill Golf Course which failed, will hopefully over time become an attractive single-family home subdivision with a new east-west street running through the center where there will be a beautiful detention pond amenity and nearby retail and restaurant space.
The first step was taken Wednesday morning, February 8, with an unofficial ground breaking on an 18-acre parcel in the northeast corner of the larger property where a huge heavy-duty shaker machine, purchased by the Sugar Lake developer – Terry Fisher, president of Fisher Homes – to separate dirt from the buried construction waste on the site, took its first bite. The waste will be hauled to a recycling center and the dirt tested and replaced. Once the waste on the Phase 1 18-acre site has been extracted and removed, land development will follow, to be followed in turn by construction over 300 new two-story and three-story homes. Tentative price estimates for the homes are in the range of $189,000 – $220,000. Accordingly, the new subdivision is expected to have a positive effect on surrounding home values. All of this will take time with site cleaning to require 6 months and land development 3 – 4 months more. Actual home construction is unlikely to begin until sometime in 2018.
Fisher acquired the 137-acre Sugar Hill property in early 2015 from the former investor group based in the Seattle area and undertook the lengthy process of testing soils and obtaining a permit from the Texas Environmental Quality Commission (TCEQ) to remove the buried waste. He was finally able to secure the permit last May but was delayed in getting started in order to secure the additional equity capital needed to start the multi-million dollar Phase 1 development project. The extraction technology was the next challenge, finally answered by the recent purchase of the big shaker machine. The project will be the first of its kind in the country. Ultimately, Fisher plans to undertake similar projects elsewhere, once Sugar Lake is well underway.
The International Management District is happy to witness the start of what could be an enormously important contribution to the future of the District.